Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"Nah, there were guys in front of us ..."

Post race Skinny Phil: "'Nah, there were guys in front of us"

Post Race Mrs. Skinny Phil: "No, you won"

So the cool news is Skinny put the smackdown on the Cat 3/4 class at Kirkland and won himself a freakin CX race. While he's probably too humble to note such here (or still too hung over from post win celebration), he deserves at least a Belgian-blog-style shout out for his win.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

What About Bob (A Conspiracy Theory)?

For those that have been reading the blog since it's inception, you're no doubt aware of an on-going CX battle between "Bob" and I. As a refresher, here's a link to the original post: http://mudbloodandbelgianbeer.blogspot.com/2008/10/who.html

About 6 months ago, Bob told me his wife was pregnant with their second child. I told him congratulations and he explained that they were expecting their child right before CX season. I gave my condolences and summer rolled on. CX racing season officially starts tomorrow at Kirkland (despite actually racing at Critz Farms today in something of a tune up race). Bob claims to be out of shape and sleep deprived. Up until today I was pretty sympathetic. That is until half way through today's race when it occurred to me that I've seen pictures of Bob's new baby, but I haven't seen her in person. I saw what looked to be a pregnant wife over the summer, but that could have been a pillow. Is Bob serious enough about his 'cross to actually FAKE a pregnancy? Has he really been closet training this whole time while I've been none the wiser? I'm in way better shape than last year, but now I'm concerned. If it turns out that the pictures he posted are just some baby from a Sears catalog and he's been secretly training this whole time, I'm gonna be bitter. Impressed, but bitter none the less.

We'll find out tomorrow I guess. Good thing I have new tubies. Actually so does Bob. Who buys new tubular's when they've just had a baby!? This conspiracy theory is becoming less theory. I could be in deep trouble tomorrow . . . I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

No mud, but there's some blood . . .

I guess CX season really started today. Despite attending and leading a CX clinic already this season, tonight was the first Tuesday night group ride. All in all it went really well. I was about 1/2 hour late after getting stuck in traffic. Who gets stuck in traffic in Syracuse? I jumped right in the mix without a warm up. Tonight was the maiden voyage on my new wheels and tubulars. First time gluing CX tubies so I think it was best that I hit the course at high speed without time to think about it. I nearly forgot I had them and a bunch of turns later they were still on and very sweet. I went with the Cyclocross World instructions on mounting them and although it was time consuming, it was definitely worth the effort. We had a great turn out (for CNY). A bunch of new faces from the CX clinic showed up which was great. We also had some converts from the TNTS road series. Even better. CNY CX is growing, and quickly. Hopefully that trend continues.

Mid ride we were doing some barrier work and I approached the barriers with some of the newer guys. Unfortunately I was going way too fast in comparison and as I tried to slow up with the bike in mid air, I yard sale'd it, smashed my shin (on who knows what) and then smacked the back of my head. After realizing that my teeth were all intact, I shook it off and we rode a few more hot laps.

As much as I enjoy the TNTS races, CX wins hands down. First race on Sunday in Kirkland. Might even hop in a race on Saturday if my travel this week doesn't bury me.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Awww Man, Now What Am I Gonna Do?

Uh oh, it's like that old girlfriend you thought you'd never hear from again and out of the blue she comes calling....; "Hey Drumroll, been thinkin about ya, whaddya been up to?" Yes Drumroll was a real tri-geek once upon a time. Did a bunch of tris in the 90's and early 2000's but have tapered off over the past few yrs. Just a 1/2 IM in 2007 and only a sprint tri in 2008. None in 2009. Thinking he may be retiring (or his knees reminding him to retire), along comes the announcement of a 1/2 IM right here in the 'Cuse. The even bigger dilema is it is scheduled for Sept 19, 2010 which just happens to typically be the start of CX season. What to do? What to do?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Cross on a motocross course. Who knows how it will turn out, but definitely worth being there to find out . . . .


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cycle Smart Camp Recap

Although velocb already did a great job over covering the Cycle Smart camp here http://velocb.blogspot.com/2009/08/notes-from-veldrijden-camp.html, I thought I’d approach the recap from a slightly different perspective.

As I mentioned in my previous post, Adam and Alec are a wealth of knowledge. At the risk of repeating myself from previous posts, time and money spent with them is far more beneficial than money spent on trick wheels, carbon bits or bling. Their knowledge is money in the bank.

Having attended last year’s camp, I more or less knew what I was in for. I attended last year’s camp with one goal in mind; learn how to remount without a stutter step. Obviously I learned a lot more, but at the end of the weekend I was only able to absorb so much information. Being relatively new to CX, or at least very uneducated, my head filled up quickly. Having said that, I was definitely able to take most of what I learned and practice and apply it. Short of almost losing a nut in the Albany last year, my remounts were even solid. Adam assured us that even Sven Nys catches his shorts on the seat now and again. (Brief aside, at the end of the Albany race I literally had to go into the bathroom after the race to make sure both of my boys were still where they’re supposed to be. Gotta love ‘cross.)

This year I went to the camp with a new set of goals. I wanted to improve my speed through the barriers, and I really wanted to learn how to drive my bike. Again, I still need to practice what I’ve learned, but done and done. I’ll spare you the details, mostly because if you want them you should either pay Adam yourself of buy me beer, but the tips he provided on handling were priceless. Although I’ll have new wheels and tubulars this year, I was railing muddy turns on a set of 4 year old Michelin Muds. People used to ask me how I liked the Mud’s. My standard response was “They’re great, but I never know when they’re going to let loose and sometimes I end up pedaling myself into the ground in a turn.” Turns out it wasn’t the tires that were unpredictable.

Not only did I get more out of this year’s clinic because I was ready for more, but amazingly, Adam literally knows more. Adam went to Belgium last year to mix it up in the motherland and came back with a few more gems. He also modified his handling style on the road bike this year trying to improve his descending skills. That change readily translated to ‘cross. Point is some people can get through races with raw power or better riding through chemistry. Most of us, Adam included need to actually be better at technique and use our minds to go faster. The fact that teams continue to seek out Adam as a professional rider is a testament to his talent. The fact that Adam continues to be a force on the road and ‘cross circuits is a testament to his talent. It would be very easy for Adam to sell out and take his business to the next level, but it’s clear that he still very much enjoys racing, learning and sharing his knowledge. Only two hours into our clinic I overheard a woman tell a friend that she had just attended another clinic a couple of weeks earlier. That person was also a professional, and arguably more successful as far as current ‘cross results are concerned, but she said that she’d already gained more in the first two hours of Adam’s clinic than she had at the other clinic all together. I don’t write that to slam the other clinic, it’s simply a matter of Adam taking the finer points of ‘cross to the next level and then translating that experience to people like you and me.

Bryan Blake was the only other local CX’er to make the trek to Mass this year, and I’m sure he echo’s my sentiments. If you’re serious about your ‘cross, plan ahead for next year. Not only will Adam continue to teach what he’s been teaching, but I’ll bet you a set of Fango’s that he’ll have something new as well.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Go here, read this and sign up . . . do it . . . do it